Serena Williams’ previous week defeat executed by Johanna Konta in a match that lasted less than an hour is not the cause of the American tennis player’s current despondency.
In an emotional Instagram post this week, Williams expressed her lowliness and emotions stemming from insecurities as a new mother to her daughter.
Williams, 36, gave birth to her daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., last September. After Olympia was born, Williams needed surgery for blood clots and struggled with postpartum depression.
“Although I have been with her every day of her life,” Williams wrote on Instagram, “I’m not around as much as I would like to be. Most of you moms deal with the same thing. Whether stay-at-home or working, finding that balance with kids is a true art.”
Williams lost her opening match of the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic last Tuesday night to Konta, 6-1, 6-0, a match that lasted only 52 minutes. On Saturday, she pulled out of this week’s Rogers Cup in Montreal, citing personal reasons.
Williams explained those reasons in her Instagram post:
“Last week was not easy for me. Not only was I accepting some tough personal stuff, but I just was in a funk. Mostly, I felt like I was not a good mom. I read several articles that said postpartum emotions can last up to 3 years if not dealt with. I like communication best. Talking things through with my mom, my sisters, my friends let me know that my feelings are totally normal.”
Williams further added, “It’s totally normal to feel like I’m not doing enough for my baby. We have all been there. I work a lot, I train, and I’m trying to be the best athlete I can be. However, that means although I have been with her every day of her life, I’m not around as much as I would like to be. Most of you moms deal with the same thing. Whether stay-at-home or working, finding that balance with kids is a true art. You are the true heroes.”
As an encouragement to other women postpartum, Williams stated, “I’m here to say: if you are having a rough day or week–it’s ok–I am, too!!! There’s always tomm!”